Electric pianos – A guide for beginners
In our previous post we discussed different types of pianos and how to choose the best one for your situation.
You might need an electric piano if:
- You have neighbours and want to practice late at night
- You don’t have enough space to fit an acoustic piano
- You are looking for more budget friendly options
- You are not sure how long you will play the piano for and are not ready to invest in an acoustic piano yet
- You want to be able to move and piano easily by yourself
- You don’t want to tune the instrument once or twice a year
- You want to place the instrument in a room where the temperature fluctuates
In this post, we will discuss different electric pianos and give you some suggestions on what type of piano to buy depending on your budget. But before we delve into each suggestion, here are some tips about electric pianos.
- 88 keys (there are instruments with 66 or 72 keys, but I highly recommend avoiding those!)
- Fully weighted keys (hammer action)
- Polyphony 128 or 256 (64 is acceptable, although not ideal)
- Touch sensitivity (ideally at least 4 levels, although 3 levels will work in the beginning)
- Pedal (ideally with half-dampening)
MARKETING GIMMICKS (things that make the price go up, but are not important for a beginner)
- Many built-in songs and rhythms
- Interactive features (although they are fun, they are not essential)
- Colour (some piano colours are more expensive than others)
Brands are very important, as there are many reputable companies and even more less reputable companies that sell electric pianos. In my experience, the following are the best and will have the highest resale value (remember that electric pianos devalue faster than acoustic ones).
BRANDS TO LOOK FOR
- Yamaha (my favourite for electric pianos)
This article is not sponsored by any piano companies. The recommendations are purely based on my experience and professional opinion.
Shop around to find the best price. The links below are for reference only.
LOW BUDGET (£300-600)
These pianos are portable (meaning they do not come with a stand, but this can be purchased in a bundle). Although they come with a pedal, this is usually poor quality and you might want to buy one separately.
Yamaha Arius YDP-144
These pianos come with a stand and three pedals, which means they will be harder to move around than a portable one. The touch quality is better than in the previous pianos we discussed.
HIGHER BUDGET (£1300-4000)
Yamaha Clavinova CLP-785
These pianos try to imitate an acoustic piano as much as possible. Therefore, they are much heavier and take a lot more space than the portable pianos, but they also have a more realistic touch and sound. Your piano technique will be much better on these instruments than those in the lower budgets.
Hopefully, this list with suggestions and electric piano specification must-haves will help you narrow down your selection of instruments. Just remember, these are just suggestions, based on my experience with the brands and personal preferences. As always, the best way to pick a piano is to go to a music shop and play on some instruments. Keep looking for the above must-haves as those will apply to any electric piano you want, regardless of brand and price.